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A visit to the Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei will provide an insight into something very important to Chinese people - Jade. The written character for jade means a combination of beauty and purity. The stone, in all its many hues and colours, is associated with long life and good health. It is smooth and cooling to the touch. Many people wear a jade bracelet to ward off all sorts of health hazards. Grandmothers routinely buy a piece of jade for newborns.
Located on Kansu and Battery streets, the Jade Market is a collection of around 400 stalls selling a wide range of jade pendants, rings, bracelets, carvings and ornaments. Open from 10am to 5pm, the market is also the main gathering place for buyers of this fine stone who today still communicate with secret hand signals when making a purchase.Nearby is Jade Street, located on Canton Road between Kansu Street and Jordan Road, where shops operate from every Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm. A giant jade stone weighing three tons has been placed at the junction of Canton Road and Jordan Road as a landmark.
Buying jade is really an art. Jade varies in colour from deep green through yellow and brown to white. The jade sold in Hong Kong is mostly jadeite from Myanmar, ranging from natural pieces to those impregnated with polymers or dyed to enhance the colour.
Top quality jade is pure green and very expensive. Most pieces have a yellow tinge but no brown or grey should be in the finished piece. The best jadeite is semi-transparent. Opaque jadeite with cloudy patches typically has less value.
If you are not an expert, you can have your potential purchase tested at Jade Plaza.
Remarks: Most of the stores are cash only. Bargaining is welcome. Usually vendors on Jade Street understand English but it is better to keep the conversation simple.
How to get there: By MTR: get off at Yau Ma Tei Station. Take Exit C. Walk along Nathan Road to Kansu Street